Despite lawsuits and public opposition, wolf hunting began in Minnesota on November 3.
|Scooped by Sarah LittleRedfeather Kalmanson|
Sacred story of creation belongs to Native peoples. In Minnesota, there are seven Anishinaabe (Chippewa, Ojibwe) reservations and four Dakota (Sioux). Understand that tribes retained these "reservations" after ceding original homelands to the United States through treaty agreements. The federal government did not "give" anything to the indigenous people. Most of the land was taken, treaties are under legal challenges, and for that reason, putting values and numbers on "acreage" is meaningless. And here it is where we must begin with the wolf, who is the heart center of the native peoples' creation story.
The Anishinaabe or Ojibwe creation story teaches that the original man, the Anishinaabeg, was "lonely and asked the Creator for a companion," says Reyna Crow of the Northwoods Wolf Alliance.
The Creator sent Wolf (Ma'iingan) to be the Peoples' companion and brother. Ma'iingan and Anishinaabeg were told to travel together and name everything in nature, including all of the plants and animals. After they did this, they returned to the Creator who told Wolf and Anishinaabeg that he would separate them. From now on they would forever walk apart from each other, but that they would live parallel lives. "WHAT HAPPENS TO ONE WILL ALSO BEFALL THE OTHER," the Creator said.
The final part of the creation narrative tells the People that Wolf felt badly that his human companions would be lonely without him. So, he gave his descendant, Dog (Animoosh), as a sacred gift. Now Dog is the Peoples' loyal and devoted companion, ensuring that there is no need to walk alone.
In the course of the brutal settlement of America, both the wolf and indigenous peoples were hunted, slaughtered, hated, and vilified as white culture bled across the tapestry of the land. Indeed, Wolf and the People are still walking parallel lives.
"If you take the fur of ma'iingan, you take the flesh off my back," says Robert DesJarlait, of the Red Lake Ojibwe-Anishinaabe Nation. DesJarlait is a writer, journalist, artist and a member of the University of Minnesota Council of Elders. DesJarlait "signs his works of art with the symbol of a wolf's paw to honor the historic and ancient connection between tribal people and wolves."